THE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen on Saturday told the acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdulkafarati not to be intimidated or bow to pressure.
The CJN, who gave the charge on Saturday while swearing in Justice Kafarati at the Supreme Court complex as the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court also warned him against bowing to pressure as he pilots the affairs of the court for him to succeed.
Kafarati succeeds Justice Ibrahim Auta, who retired from the judiciary on September 16, 2017 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.
In a short remark, Justice Onnoghen reminded the Acting Chief Judge of the oath he took as a judicial officer, adding that the same oath would be his watchwords.
In the words of the CJN, “As a Chief Judge, you have to be guided by the Constitution and law. When you do that and continue to do it, there will be no problem for you”.
The CJN stressed the need for Kafarati to adhere strictly to the rule of law and charged him to be firm, upright and unbiased when taking decisions that have to do with his new status.
“Do not succumb to pressure or bend the rules to favour anyone due to personal or vested interest, no matter whose ox is gored.
“That is the only way to ensure justice, equity and rule of law, anything short of that breeds injustice, loss of hope in the judiciary and dis-unity.
“You don’t have to strive to satisfy everybody. If you do it, you will fail. Your duty is to say who is right and wrong”, Justice Onnoghen advised.
The CJN also cautioned Kafarati on the need to avoid anything that will drag his personality, the legal profession and the country to the mud, adding that, “As you assume the mantle of leadership of the Federal High Court, I urge you to avoid anything that will embarrass you, the judiciary or Nigeria”.
He appealed to judges under the Federal High Court jurisdiction to cooperate and support the new Acting Chief Judge in order for him to succeed.
“The Federal High Court is strategic in the history of Nigeria, and this is the reason the Acting Chief Judge needs support from judicial officers and judges”, he said and thanked the immediate past Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta for his contributions towards reforming and enhancing the performances of the country’s judiciary and justice delivery in the country.
Born in 1954 in Kwami, Kafarati attended Kafarati Primary School from January 1962 to December 1968; Government Secondary School Gombe, January 1969 to June 1973; North East College of Arts and Science Madugiri, October 1973 to June 1975; and Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, October 1975 to 1978.
The Acting Chief Judge attended the Nigerian Law School from October 1978 to July 1979 and worked from 1978 until 31st October 1991, when he was appointed a Judge of the Federal High Court.
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